If you took American history in high school, you're probably aware that the American bison almost faced extinction around the turn of the 20th century due to rampant over-hunting. One thing that certainly didn't kill them, though: harsh winters.
The bison sports a thick, parka-like coat with resilient but surprisingly lightweight outer guard hairs, which is exactly why it's been able to survive (and over the last century, recover) in some of our country's most unforgiving climes. Which begs a question: Why the hell aren't more outerwear companies utilizing said coats to make supremely warm and comfy winter gear?
It's a question that Philadelphia label United by Blue asked itself five years ago, when they began experimenting with bison wool as an alternative to more common insulators. That test has now spawned an entire collection of winter goods, from thick socks and beanies to a proprietary down-alternative fill they call B100, which combines bison fiber with recycled polyester.
In keeping with United by Blue's commitment to responsible production practices, bison wool is also a rather sustainable process: they “rent” pelts before sending them off to leather tanneries, shearing off the precious outer guard that would otherwise go to waste. And speaking of bison leather, they've just made their first foray into that trade as well, collaborating with Oregon's Danner Boots on a pair of robust, functional, two-tone boots that will keep you warm, dapper and upright once the snow settles in this winter.
Below, you'll find those as well as a few of our other favorites from United by Blue's current crop of bison-bred goods. Get cozy.
UBB x Danner Light Bison Boot | $398
Bison Sport Jacket With B100 Fill | $498
American Bison Beanie | $58
The Ultimate Bison Sock | $38
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All images via United by Blue